Camping Best Practices: What to Bring, Reuse, and How-to Toss

Camping under towering pine trees and reminiscing around a warm fire at night are two things that should be at the top of every nature lover’s to-do list.

Keeping our environment healthy and thriving while doing so is not only an ethical obligation but a great practice for keeping our campsites clean and green.

Since 2019, the interest in camping across the nation has grown five-fold.

Republic Services, a leader in the U.S. environmental services industry, understands the nature of this and wants to provide our communities with the proper tools for camping in an eco-friendly manner.

For those of us who aren’t expert hunter-gatherers, it’s common to bring food from home to enjoy on a camping trip.

If you’re using disposable plates and utensils, properly discarding them when finished is a key sustainability habit. Republic Services offers the following pro-tips highlighting what’s recyclable:

  • Utensils – Some utensils are made from potato or corn and are compostable. Plastic utensils are not recyclable, so trash them after you’re finished.
  • Paper Plates – Once you use that plate for your hot dog that’s slathered in ketchup and mustard, toss it in the trash. It’s not recyclable.
  • Aluminum Cans – Did you know aluminum cans can be recycled over and over again? Be sure to keep the cycle going.
  • Glass Jars – Finished with that last crunchy dill pickle? If your city accepts glass, put the jar into the recycling cart. If not, toss it in the trash.
  • Plastic Bottles – Whether it’s a soda bottle or an empty ketchup bottle, it’s recyclable. Just ensure it’s empty, clean, and dry before you toss it into your recycling cart.

Republic Services also have a few important reminders for helping reduce toxins and maintaining a sustainable campfire. The following items and wood conditions are NOT to be burned while enjoying your time around the campfire:

  • Fresh Greenery
  • Materials with colored ink
  • Paint
  • Wrappers
  • Trash / Plastics
  • Pressure treated wood
  • Wet, rotten, or moldy wood
  • Driftwood, plywood, any wood with glue on it

NOT burning the above items can help cut down on your carbon footprint while camping and eliminate the potential of dioxins, mercury, and BCP’s being released into the atmosphere.

If possible, only use real locally sourced, organic, untreated, dry wood when building your campfires.

Amy Adcox is the general manager for Republic Services.

Amy Adcox

Amy Adcox is general manager for Republic Services, which serves Dallas and the Park Cities.

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